Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ways of seeing

A dear friend after reading my blog asked a pertinent question - is it so necessary to have an opinion on everything? I couldnt answer the question but it set me thinking. This urge to write down my thoughts or voice my opinion - is it merely cathartic and therefore selfish or does it have roots in something larger of which I am still unaware? Do writers ask themselves this question before they set out to coin a phrase or frame a sentence? Are opinions damaging or constructive or both? Is criticism in fact easier than going that extra mile to do that certain something which we feel so compelled to comment on but would not touch with a bargepole given the opportunity?

"In life one must do." I cant recall who said it, but it definitely sums up the basic thumb rule that until its been tried it hasnt been tested. I think it was Milton Glaser who said that we must diminish the difference between work and art. And to that end "work is art and art is work."

Isnt it enough to simply experience a great film, book, piece of music or a work of art? Is it the politics of our time that breeds such creative contempt or is it the system of knowledge we belong to? More importantly, are we, while stating with such confidence our carefully thought out opinions, as tolerant to more diverse points of view? Is qualification the only license to an opinion?

I write because I feel most confident expressing myself in this form. Words provide a platform from where images take off. Writing is for me, as of this moment a tool at best. Not as eloquent or free from prejudice as the instinctive brush of the seasoned artist, but more like the strange and daunting piece of charcoal in the clumsy hands of one who is learning to draw and thus learning to see. I too am learning to see - and my image is made or letters and words and phrases and inflexions. It is an untrained eye that knows not many ways of seeing - yet.

1 comment:

Abhishek said...

Opinion matters; and there is no reason why one should not express it freely.